Former Bank Manager with T2D Wins Discrimination Case

A sacked former bank manager has won a case against HBOS for unfair dismissal, wrongful dismissal and disability discrimination.

An employment tribunal ruled that HBOS bank manager Mr B Kuppala was unfairly dismissed after his condition limited his ability to follow the proper security protocols at his central London branch.

Kuppala, who has Type 2 Diabetes, inadvertently locked a customer in his bank for three hours in May last year.

An investigation report stated Mr Kuppala had breached HBOS’s security policies, and recommended that formal action be taken for gross misconduct. At a disciplinary hearing Mr Kuppala apologised and blamed the incident on low blood glucose levels which had impacted his concentration.

He was dismissed after the hearing found he had shown “serious disregard for well-documented and established procedures, despite recently completing training that covered exit procedures”. A subsequent appeal was thrown out.

Kate Palmer, associate director of advice for HR, employment law and health and safety consultancy firm Peninsula UK, said: “Despite the fact that the employee had committed serious forms of misconduct and would likely have faced a sanction for this, the failure of the organisation to further investigate his claims that a disability was impacting upon his performance ultimately meant they were found to have discriminated against him.” 

The employment Tribunal ruled in favour of Mr Kuppala, but said there was still a 10% chance that HBOS would have dismissed him even if they had taken into account his diabetes. HBOS was ordered to pay Kuppala £49,457 for unfair dismissal, discriminatory dismissal and notice pay for wrongful dismissal.

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